The union of special (SR) and general (GR) relativity. Use this tag if both SR and GR apply.

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Having trouble seeing the similarity between these two energy-momentum tensors

Leonard Suskind gives the following formulation of the energy-momentum tensor in his Stanford lectures on GR (#10, I believe): $$T_{\mu \nu}=\partial_{\mu}\phi \partial_{\nu}\phi-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu ...
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2answers
251 views

Relativity and predictability

My old theoretical physics professor used to say that (already) (special?) relativity shows that "the future is not predictable". Any ideas how this should be interpreted?
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2answers
154 views

Speed cannot be greater than speed of light. How about acceleration? Does it have limit?

We know that $c$ is the largest speed in the universe. How about the acceleration, does it has limit?
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2answers
4k views

If I travel close to the speed of light and come back, why is everyone else dead, and not me? [duplicate]

Consider the following scenario: I get in a spaceship, and travel really close to the speed of light for a while, and then come back. A lot of time has passed on the Earth, but since I was traveling ...
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2answers
334 views

Light & Observer moving perpendicular to each other

Light is the yellow arrow. Observer is the black arrow. Observer is moving at a constant speed of v, w.r.t to a Galilean frame of reference. Now from the point of view of the observer (O), how ...
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125 views

How do we know the speed of light is constant and spacetime dilates rather than vice versa?

Some conspiracy nut was telling me that Einstein was BS and there's a giant conspiracy that he's wrong but scientists would loose all their jobs if they admitted it. Of course this is all baloney, ...
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3answers
135 views

space contraction near lightspeed

I read a lot of the Time-Life Science books when I was a kid (well, mostly the pictures and captions). One of the things that always stuck in my mind was an explanation of the twin paradox, using ...
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7answers
520 views

Relation between coordinates and frames of reference

I always get a little uneasy that all the theories I can think of (at least since Newton) are constructed in a way such that they would be true in heaven and on earth ... but we can never go ...
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1answer
685 views

relativity and aberration of light

I am dealing with math and physics only at amateur level and I am writing regarding my question on relativistic aberration of light. Reading "Realtivity and Common Sense" by Hermann Bondi and some ...
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2answers
122 views

Why time slows only for moving object and not stationary observer? How the “stationary” & “moving” are decided? [duplicate]

Explanation for the questions in the title: According to the the (special theory of) Relativity, if an observer is stationary and sees a fast moving object then time runs faster for the observer ...
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4answers
433 views

If Julian Barbour is Correct, is the Speed of Light Special?

According to this article in Discover Magazine, Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity is wrong, because it didn't fully live up to the ideas of Einstein's idol, Ernst Mach. Mach proposed a truly ...
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233 views

Circular motion and time dilation

Einsteins' time paradox was shown when two atomic clocks were synchronized and one was sent in a super sonic plane and the other kept at rest. When the two where then checked it was shown that yes ...
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108 views

Is a particular force different in different frames

Can a particular real force have different magnitude in different frames?
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1answer
103 views

Perpetual Mobile and Gravitation

I have fundamental question about what is called the “law of conservation of energy”. We all hear about the tidal power stations which using the tidal power. The source of the tidal power came from ...
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1answer
318 views

an example where changing the frame of reference of an observer changes the outcome of events!

consider two identical charges moving with uniform velocity. There will be a magnetic force of attraction between them as two currents in the same direction attract each other. If I sit on one of the ...
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1answer
162 views

Killing Equation, trouble with tensor algebra

I'm attempting to follow a proof that the commutator of two Killing vectors is itself a Killing vector. The source that I've posted is from my course notes. I've highlighted the part I'm stuck on. ...
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2answers
81 views

What prevents an orbiting object from getting a speed which is greater than $c$? [duplicate]

Consider an object orbiting around a point with radius $r$ and angular velocity $\omega$. Here its linear velocity is $v=\omega r$. If we choose a large enough $r$ and reasonable $\omega$, $v$ might ...
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1answer
165 views

Why does Relativity effect the melting point of mercury?

I know there is a related question, that references the Dirac Equation, that relies on relativity, but I've just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnsHtYYKf0 Which seems to say ...
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0answers
86 views

Why Use the Non-Relativistic Momentum Operator in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics?

In deriving the Klein Gordon equation one starts out with the relativistic energy relation E^2 = p^2 + m^2 and substitutes the quantum momentum operator that corresponds to non-relativistic QM, p = -i ...
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61 views

Michelson–Morley experiment's aether; Why is the time gained from travelling downwind less than that lost travelling upwind?

From the Wikipedia article on the Michelson–Morley experiment, explaining one of the concepts behind the landmark experiment: "If the Earth is traveling through an aether medium, a beam reflecting ...
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22 views

Is gravitational attraction increased by relativistic mass as well as rest mass? [duplicate]

Is gravitational attraction increased by relativistic mass as well as rest mass? If so what would happen if an observer travelled at relativistic speeds? Would it appear to him that the whole ...
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0answers
59 views

Does relativistic glider violate principle of equivalence?

The relativistic glider proposed can slow down the fall of an object in gravitational field. Will this violate the principle of equivalence which says that one cannot distinguish between free falling ...
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0answers
86 views

Gravitational atraction of fast object [duplicate]

Let's imagine a asteroid that travels with 0.99999999999999999c. (I know it's impossible). Anyway... Relativistic mass of such object would be almost equal to earth's stationary mass. Now let's ...
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0answers
108 views

Current state of the existence of absolute space debate [closed]

Samir Okasha writes about the controversy concerning the existence of absolute space in Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction (2002): One of the intriguing things about the ...
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4answers
163 views

In $1$-dimensional space, how would the gravity generated by an electron affect a photon moving away from the electron if the photon can’t slow down?

Suppose we had a universe obeying the same physical laws as our own. But it had only one spatial dimension (represented by the $x$ axis) and it was totally empty. There are just two point-like ...
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4answers
763 views

Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
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1answer
638 views

How will the Twin Paradox become, for Time Dilation, if no acceleration was ever involved?

I think one catch in Twin Paradox was about the big acceleration that can turn back the traveling twin from light speed outward bound, to become light speed inward bound. What if there is strictly no ...
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1answer
219 views

Does a light cone look the same from all reference frames?

If there were a light cone centered at some point $P$, and you were to look at that light cone from different reference frames, would it change its shape? I know that points inside and outside the ...
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3answers
101 views

Is simultaneity testable?

I was reading about Andromeda paradox, and I started wondering. How can we know that the situation in the Andromeda paradox is real ? How can you know that simultaneity is real ? How can you say that ...
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3answers
115 views

Does Contraction at High Speeds Happen in Any Dimension Besides Length?

I'm not sure if this is a duplicate. Whenever physics buffs talk about Einstein's relativity (I forget which kind) at high speeds, they always talk about "length contraction", or shortening of the ...
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2answers
563 views

“as measured in a local Lorentz frame”?

I've seen the phrase "as measured in a local Lorentz frame" tagged on the end of so many sentences. What does it mean precisely? To give an explanation with an example, consider the context of ...
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2answers
212 views

Can all of physics be described by simple math? [closed]

Recently I was browsing through A Dynamical Theory of electromagnetic field by Maxwell and wondered because the paper did not seem to include any vector calculus or any vectors. I thought of the ...
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2answers
115 views

Consider relativity. If a stick accelerates from a stationary state, how will it look like during the acceleration?

I mean how it will be shortened in the sight of an observer in a stationary coordinate system. It seems I was not clear enough. If the stick becomes shorter, then while this is happening, the ...
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4answers
382 views

Is there a default notation for 4-vectors while handwriting?

In printed paper 3-vectors can be denoted bold italic while 4-vectors can be denote just bold. While handwriting 3-vectors are denoted by arrows above letters. Is there a similar way to denote ...
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5answers
739 views

Is there a universal rest frame of reference?

I am still struggling with C being a constant and what that implies. So can an experiment be done to find the resting state for the universe? Take a device with an observer and a light source and two ...
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1answer
1k views

Question about Time Dilation

I just have a quick question about time dilation/proper time because my physics book makes it a little confusing. Let's say we have an observer on Earth, and then an observer on a space ship. The ...
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1answer
60 views

A rope between Earth and Moon - Length and Speed of Light [duplicate]

An earlier question was asked on what would happen if a rope was attached between Moon and Earth, but the question was more about the impacts in terms of geology. We keep the same experiment setup : ...
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2answers
508 views

Proper time for an accelerating object

As far as I have read so far, proper time is the time measured on the clock of an inertial frame moving uniformly with respect to another inertial frame. The concept and the mathematical expression ...
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2answers
723 views

How do I adjust the kinematic equations to avoid reaching speeds faster than light?

I like some 'science' in my 'science fiction', so I started crunching out the kinematic equations for some of the scenarios my characters are getting involved in, and ran smack dab into an issue. ...
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2answers
192 views

Using Einstein's Relativity: Who is younger?

Suppose we have a person A and a person B. Person B travels very close to speed of light and never returns. He's constant in speed. Then, we can say two things: B is younger than A. A is younger ...
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2answers
172 views

Does deceleration (or negative acceleration) feel like acceleration?

This may seem like a dumb question, but I'm having a hard time trying to intuit the answer. The question is in relation to Einstein's famous thought experiment which says that it is impossible for a ...
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3answers
117 views

Which is more fundamental,''constancy of speed of light'' or ''space-time''? [closed]

My friend asked me,''which is more basic or fundamental? constancy of speed of light which makes space-time behave dynamically OR dynamical behavior of space-time that makes light to travel with ...
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1answer
194 views

Has anyone yet been able to prove relativity wrong? [closed]

I was in a physics group, then a student (or a professor, I don't know) posted this- Mohammad Shafiq Khan > Physics > The space-time concept including the formula $E=mc^2$ are proved baseless in ...
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1answer
789 views

Can we live forever by taking advantage of the time dilation effect?

I have been reading about Time dilation and twin paradox in Relativity. So,I thought that if It can be the difference of 10 yrs between the Girl in space and on Earth, then why can't anyone not age ...
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1answer
5k views

Why can't we accelerate objects past the speed of light? [duplicate]

Is there any intuitive reasoning behind why there would be this universal speed limit? It just seems so arbitrary. I know that there must be things that are unknown, but what reasoning is there behind ...
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2answers
217 views

Relativistic mass as seen by different observers

Imagine there are two observers $A$ and $B$ and a particle $P$. $A$ and $B$ are at about the same point, $P$ is some distance away. From $A$'s point of view, $P$ has velocity $V$ and $B$ has ...
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1answer
346 views

Thought experiment about acceleration

Case 1: two people wake up in spaceships accelerating at 1g. They can measure or observe anything inside the room but not outside. They couldn't determine if they were on a spaceship or on earth. ...
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2answers
548 views

Where does the minus sign appear from in the metric tensor?

Trying to understand Schutz's AFCIGR, where does the minus sign appear from in the metric tensor? I understand that this expresses the invariance of the spacetime interval. Schutz says (I think) ...
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3answers
111 views

Is gravity Lorentz-invariant?

If I go whizzing past the Sun in my spaceship at 0.8c, I will see that the Sun looks like it has been squished. That is, it will be Lorentz-contracted along the direction of my motion (by a factor of ...
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2answers
73 views

Would Magnetic field be Zero if measured while moving along with charges?

According to Einstein's relativistic interpretation magnetic field caused by charges moving inside a wire is caused only by the relative speed between charges and the observer. So, if electrons are ...